This time of year, it’s easy to get sucked into ordering the eggnog hazelnut latte with a shot of caramel topped with whipped cream.
But just because it tastes like a liquid Snickers bar doesn’t make it right.
Next time you belly up to the barista bar, go back to the basics and try a traditional espresso drink. Here are a few of our favorites:
A double shot of espresso. Simple, elegant and untouched by any milk or foam. When baristas show off their stuff in espresso competitions, this is the drink they make. This is the drink you see 97-pound road cyclists drinking after a 100-mile “recovery” ride.
A standard double shot with just a touch of milk, served in a 6-ounce espresso cup. Think doppio with a touch of milk.
• Con panna
If you absolutely need a shot of sweetness, opt for the con panna — a double shot of espresso with a hunk of whip cream dropped on top.
• Traditional cappuccino
A true cappuccino comes in 6 ounces: one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk and one-third milk foam. A traditional cappuccino is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up drink.
Depending on where you go, a traditional cortado is half espresso and half warm milk, or even one-third espresso and two-thirds milk. A fun Cuban twist is to use condensed milk or condensed milk and cream in place of regular milk. Viva la leche!